January 1997 News
Tool Adapter™: Leatherman adapter fits more tools Standard drive locks in three positions
January, 1997, Portland, OR—Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. offers the Tool Adapter, a product that permits a wide variety of screw bits to be used with genuine Leatherman® tools. Any bit that fits a standard quarter-inch hex drive can be used with the new Tool Adapter. According to company founder and president Tim Leatherman, the Tool Adapter "slides easily over the plier jaws of most Leatherman tool models and attaches firmly to provide a safe, comfortable grip."
The most significant advance provided by the Tool Adapter is its locking mechanism. The adapter drive locks in position at zero-, 45- and 90-degree angles to optimize accessibility and torque. No other multi-tool adapter on the market has this capability. The Tool Adapter is compatible with seven Leatherman products: Pulse®, Super Tool 200, Flair™, Sideclip®, PST II®, Super Tool® and the original PST®. A second version of the Tool Adapter is also available to complement the popular Leatherman Wave®.
The Tool Adapter is offered in a Standard Kit that contains six bits: #0 and #3 Phillips, #1 and #2 Robertson (square), #15 Torx® and #8-10 Slotted. Also included is one of several carrying options such as a belt sheath or a clip-on box. Like all Leatherman products, the Tool Adapter is made of 100 percent stainless steel and carries a 25-year guarantee. Suggested retail price for the Standard Kit is $28.
Outdoors enthusiasts account for a large portion of Leatherman's market. Leatherman tools are also popular among electricians, boaters, stagehands, farmers, do-it-yourselfers, emergency services personnel and an ever-expanding range of professional and recreational users.
The original Pocket Survival Tool™, now known as the PST, was developed by Tim Leatherman following a low-budget journey through Europe. He found himself frustrated by the limited strength and abilities of the "scouter's knives" available at the time. Upon his return to the United States, Leatherman decided to put his engineering background to use. A self-taught machinist, he eventually had hundreds of prototypes scattered around his home shop.
Finally, having developed a pliers-based multi-purpose tool that exceeded even his own rigorous standards, Leatherman and Steve Berliner founded Leatherman Tool Group, Inc. in 1983. The product line has expanded many times since, notably with 1998's multi-tool hit, Wave. Last year, the company expanded the multi-tool concept by introducing the compact, colorful Juice® line.
Today, Tim Leatherman continues in his role of company president and is deeply involved in product development, quality, and production management. The company employs about 400 residents of the Portland, Oregon, area and markets its tools in more than 70 countries.